These chocolate pecan pie bars are a delicious take on pecan pie, the holiday favorite. A brown sugar shortbread crust is topped with toasted pecans, dark chocolate, and chocolate infused pecan pie filling. Dessert bars are baked until the filling is set, and then chilled to finish the dish. Served warm.
Why You Should Make These Pecan Pie Bars
- can be made several days in advance of serving.
- delicious take on classic dessert.
- the pairing of dark chocolate and toasted pecans is amazing.
- store well in an airtight container.
How To Make Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
A stick of unsalted butter and 3 eggs are brought up to room temperature.
The oven is preheated and I spread a couple cups of pecan halves on a cookie sheet and toast them for 4 or 5 minutes.
They are cooled completely and rough chopped.
While I’m waiting for the pecans to toast I beat the butter in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes.
Sugar and light brown sugar are added to a stand mixer and beaten on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Vanilla bean paste and a pinch of fine sea salt are added to the stand mixer and beat just long enough to incorporate.
I take the bowl off the stand mixer and add a cup of flour. The flour is folded in with a large spatula until no more streaks of flour are present. Avoid over mixing.
The shortbread dough is transferred to an 8 x 8-inch pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom and go up two opposite sides. The parchment keeps the dessert bars from adhering to the bottom and the parchment up the sides creates handles to lift the bars out of the baking pan.
Spread the dough around the bottom of the pan with a small offset spatula. The little spatula allows me to create an even layer that gets into each corner and all along the edges.
The shortbread crust is baked in a preheated oven for 12 minutes to firm.
The roughly chopped pecans and 2/3 of a cup of chopped dark chocolate are sprinkled over the cooled crust.
Unsalted butter and chocolate are melted in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. The butter and chocolate should be well combined.
Brown sugar is added to the saucepan and cooked for 1 minute while constantly stirring.
The saucepan is removed from the heat and the light corn syrup is added. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Beaten eggs. Black coffee, vanilla bean paste and a pinch of salt are added to the saucepan. The mixture is stirred until smooth and well combined.
The pecan pie filling is poured over the pecan pieces and chocolate in the baking pan. If necessary, use a small offset spatula to make sure the filling gets into all four corners and is spread evenly.
The dessert bars are baked for 50 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight to set these bars.
Run a paring knife around the edges of the baking pan to loosen the bars. Tilt the pan slightly and slide the bars out using the parchment handles. Alternately, you can cut the bars right in the pan.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
- 113 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup OR 1 stick), softened
- 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
- 35 grams light brown sugar (3 tablespoons)
- 4 grams vanilla bean paste or extract (3/4 teaspoon)
- 3 grams fine sea salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- 128 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
Chocolate Pecan Pie Filling:
- 200 grams pecan halves (2 cups)
- 56 grams unsalted butter (1/4 cup OR 1/2 stick), melted
- 60 grams chopped dark chocolate (1/3 cup)
- 130 grams light brown sugar (2/3 cup)
- 120 grams light corn syrup (1/2 cup)
- 150 grams egg (3 large), beaten
- 30 grams black coffee (2 tablespoons)
- 5 grams vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
- 2 grams fine sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 120 grams roughly chopped dark chocolate (2/3 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and two opposite sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving enough parchment on the two opposite ends to create handles for lifting the dessert bars out of the pan.
- Add unsalted butter to stand mixer. Beat on medium for 3 minutes.
- Add granulated sugar and light brown sugar to stand mixer. Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl if necessary.
- Add vanilla bean paste and fine sea salt. Beat on low for a few seconds to incorporate.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer. Add all-purpose flour to sugar mixture. Fold in with large spatula. Do not over mix.
- Transfer to prepared baking pan. Carefully spread shortbread dough evenly across bottom and into corners with a small offset spatula.
- Bake 12 minutes in preheated oven. Remove baking pan from oven and cool on wire rack.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Filling:
- Arrange pecan halves on cookie sheet in single layer. Toast for 4 to 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove pecans from oven. Roughly chop lightly toasted pecans. Set aside.
- Add unsalted butter and 60 grams chopped dark chocolate to small saucepan. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat while stirring frequently.
- Add light brown sugar to saucepan and cook on low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in light corn syrup until mixture is smooth and corn syrup is fully incorporated.
- Add eggs, black coffee, vanilla bean paste, and salt to saucepan. Stir until all are incorporated and mixture is smooth.
- Sprinkle toasted pecan pieces and 120 grams chopped dark chocolate over cooled shortbread crust.
- Pour pecan pie filling mixture over pecan pieces and chocolate. Spread evenly with small offset spatula.
- Bake 50 minutes. Remove baking pan from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature. Chill 4 hours in refrigerator.
- Run a paring knife around edges of baking pan, Tilt pan slightly and use parchment paper to lift and slide dessert bars onto flat surface. Cut into individual bars.
- Store in airtight container for several days.